Do sperm carry tiny harpoons?

120px-Sperm-eggA fascinating new theory about how sperm attach themselves to eggs has been put forward by researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia.  They think that the sperm may harpoon the eggs using small spiky filaments to tie themselves together. Apparently it’s a protein in the sperm head which forms the filaments, and the scientists believe they are involved in helping the sperm to penetrate the egg.

This theory, which was published in the scientific journal Andrology, is the result of many years of research – and you can read all about the background to the discovery here. 

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